Japan-based studio CASE-REAL transformed an 80-year-old traditional Japanese home into a craft beer brewery called Whale Brewing. The construction was aimed to attract the younger generation and rejuvenate the historical town of Yobuko, which was known for whaling during the Edo period. 

The chosen location, a street called “Yobuko Asaichi-dori” is bustling with local seafood and goods stalls every morning. The house has been abandoned for years and suffered from leaks, structural problems, and exterior deterioration. But much to their surprise, after the team dismantled the interior, they found a sturdy structure around nine meters tall.

They retained this structure in the design and construction of Whale Brewing. The building then features a storefront area with a ceiling on the facade side and the brewing space uses the generous height of the second floor through an open atrium. Continuous glazing spans both levels and offers view of the street that highlights the robust beams and the brewery ambiance. From the outside, people can see the large brewing tanks inside.

The team decided on a sloped design that connects the elevated rear of the building considering ground conditions. Meanwhile, stainless steel was used on the counter, handles, and staircase to align with the material theme used on the brewing tanks. Solid Japanese cypress were also utilized on selected façade pillars that feature rounded shapes for a sense of softness, while adding a distinctive design and accentuating the space’s height. 

“By combining the new functions of the brewery with the original characteristics of the building, we hope that this will become a new landmark in Yobuko, firmly rooted in the local community,” CASE-REAL said of Whale Brewing. 

Learn More Here

Images courtesy of CASE-REAL